Hear How Travelers Feel About Vacationing Right Now
Nearly four months after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, I am still helping my clients to navigate through information to learn what hotels around the world are welcoming guests (with strict new protocols in place), what countries are cautiously reopening their borders, and what airlines are adding more routes to their schedules to satisfy demand. There are some people emerging from quarantine with a serious case of wanderlust ready to escape now or plan an escape in the future.
Earlier this month, Virtuoso asked travelers how they feel about vacationing in light of the pandemic, and more than 3,000 of them responded.
With curves flattening in some parts of the world and cases spiking in others, we weren’t surprised to see a pretty split answer to the top question: “Are you ready to travel again?”While 42.5 percent of travelers said yes, 49.5 percent said no, and 11.7 percent still aren’t sure.
More than 84 percent of travelers age 18-25 and 62 percent of travelers ages 26-55 are ready to travel, compared to 36 percent of travelers age 56-76 and 27 percent older than 77. Translation: The older the traveler, the less likely they’re ready, possibly due to health concerns. And while 11.4 percent of those ready to travel would go right now, the majority (35.8 percent) estimated they’d like to take a trip within the next three months.
The survey shows a demand for close-to-home destinations, with nearly 70 percent of all travelers predicting their first getaway would be either a road trip or a domestic destination a short flight away. (Scenic drives, anyone? Ask me!) An interesting find: Of those who said they weren’t ready to travel yet, 26.6 percent said they’d like their first trip be to an international destination – meaning they’re still dreaming big.
At first, it was not surprising to find that 10.8 percent of people weren’t sure when they would be ready to travel again, but their write-in responses helped with the realization that many travelers are still waiting on more information as the coronavirus pandemic plays out. Some are standing by for borders to reopen or quarantine orders to lift, while others noted the desire for a coronavirus vaccine or an effective treatment before they’d travel.
The need for a vaccine was the number two factor selected by travelers when asked what was most important to them when considering future trips. Relaxed cancellation policies from travel companies was the top answer, and a government certification that the plane, train, cruise line, or hotel has met designated cleaning and sanitation criteria came in at number three. Good timing: The World Travel & Tourism Council launched its Safe Travels Stamp of approval for travel companies. The specially designed stamp will allow travelers to recognize governments and companies around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardized protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels
My advice: If you’re ready to travel, do so wisely. You know the drill- follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, wash hands frequently and, if you don’t feel well, stay home!
Working with me as your Virtuoso travel advisor is more important now than ever before – I'm dialed in on travel restrictions around the globe, can offer sound advice on where and when to go (as well as purchasing travel insurance), and I work with preferred partners that are flexible with their booking policies. I don’t just plan your trip – I advocate for you after you take off, offering peace of mind when it’s valued most.
Results from Virtuoso’s Coronavirus + Travel Flash Five survey- 2020